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Genomic Study Explores Evolution of Gentle 'Killer Bees' in Puerto Rico

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 12:51:00 EST

A genomic study of Puerto Rico's Africanized honey bees – which are more docile than other so-called “killer bees” – reveals that they retain most of the genetic traits of their African honey bee ancestors, but that a few regions of their DNA have become more like those of European honey bees. According to the researchers, these changes likely contributed to the bees' rapid evolution toward gentleness in Puerto Rico, a change that occurred within 30 years.(image)



New Research Shows: Organic Farming Can Make an Important Contribution to World Nutrition

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 12:03:00 EST

A global conversion to organic farming can contribute to a profoundly sustainable food system, provided that it is combined with further measures, specifically with a one-third reduction of animal-based products in the human diet, less concentrated feed and less food waste. At the same time, this type of food system has extremely positive ecological effects, i.e. considerable reduction of fertilizers and pesticides, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions – and does not lead to increased land use, despite lower agricultural yields. These are the findings of a new study, which included the Vienna-based Department of Social Ecology among its contributors. Results have recently been published in “Nature Communications”.   (image)



How to Keep Cows Happy

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 11:33:00 EST

Corrals are used on livestock farms around the world to round up the animals when they need to be weighed or vaccinated. New research now shows that removing splashes of colors, shadows or water puddles from corrals, keeping noise levels down and not using dogs and electric prods can dramatically reduce the stress cattle experience. Maria Lúcia Pereira Lima of the Instituto de Zootecnia Sertãozinho in Brazil is the lead author of this study in Springer’s journal Tropical Animal Health and Production.(image)



Filling The Intercropping Info Gap

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 09:53:00 EST

Two crops or one? Sometimes, growing two crops simultaneously on the same piece of land – called intercropping – can benefit farmers. But it needs careful planning and resource management.(image)



Disease-Resistant Apples Perform Better Than Old Favorites

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 14:43:00 EST

You may not find them in the produce aisle yet, but it’s only a matter of time before new disease-resistant apple cultivars overtake favorites like Honeycrisp in popularity, according to a University of Illinois apple expert.(image)



The Next Quarter Century's Organic Marketplace

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 10:36:00 EST

In 1977, during the heyday of the emerging “alternative energy” movement, I attended a solar greenhouse conference where I remember one of our little tribe’s pioneers opined about how much less exciting the solar “revolution” was going to be when it finally went mainstream. “I know what’s going to happen,” architect Steve Baer of Zomeworks pronounced – “solar collectors are going to be advertised in Sears newspaper inserts! I’m going to hate it but I’ll know we have arrived.”(image)



New Map of Worldwide Croplands Supports Food and Water Security

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 08:26:00 EST

ndia has the highest net cropland area while South Asia and Europe are considered agricultural capitals of the world.A new map was released today detailing croplands worldwide in the highest resolution yet, helping to ensure global food and water security in a sustainable way.(image)